The Fort of Cyber Security – What is Ransomware?
How to protect your business against Ransomware
What exactly is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a form of malicious software. Which locks and encrypts your computer or device data, then demands a ransom to restore your access.
The cybercriminal uses your own information against you, the files are still on your computer, however, they’re all encrypted and completely out of your control. They give you a set period of time and threaten to wipe the system if you don’t pay, causing many businesses to pay the ransom almost immediately.
Nevertheless, they’re not as kind as you may think… if you pay up and demand access back to your system, it doesn’t mean they will. You’re then out of pocket, still without all your data. Worst-case, if you pay up and they do return your files, they now know you’re able to pay up, don’t be surprised if they lock you out of your data again.
What are the different types of Ransomware?
Coming in all different shapes and sizes, with a variety of forms, some types are much more harmful than others:
Crypto Malware – The most harmful form of ransomware, the ability to encrypt everything on your system, once it’s started, you no longer have any control over your files, until you pay the ransom of course.
Screen Lockers – Infects your operating system to completely lock you out of your computer or device, making it impossible to access any of your files.
Scareware – As its name states, it’s used to scare you. Fake software claiming to be an antivirus and demands money for ‘finding issues with your computer’. Some types lock you out but others mostly flood your screen with pop-ups and persistent alerts.
Doxware – Otherwise known has leakware, hackers will gain access to and will threaten to leak all your private documents, pictures and information, most victims will pay once their files have been hijacked.
How do you prevent being targeted by Ransomware attacks?
Ransomware is a popular money-making market for hackers and can be hard to stop. Prevention is the most important aspect of securing sensitive data. To block cybercriminals and help safeguard yourself from a ransomware attack, keep these points in mind:
- Use security software with Advanced Threat Protection; Install trusted security suites to protect your data, you need more than just anti-virus.
- Keep your Security software as well as your Operating System up to date, on the latest version at all times.
- Never open email attachments or embedded links without analysing them first, you never know what it might be. similar to Phishing, you can be easily caught out into installing malicious content without you even knowing.
- Be cautious of emails with attachments that require you to enable macros to view its content, once you enable macros, the malware inside is activated and will enter your system.
- Use cloud services, they’re fantastic for mitigating ransomware infections
- Don’t pay the ransom, yes you have a time limit and they’re threatening you with your won files, but a cybercriminal can ask you to pay over and over again and still never release your files, they locked you out, they won’t be kind and let you back in.
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